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Posts Tagged ‘local business’

Welcome Arrowroot Equine Massage to Plymouth

http://www.arrowrootequinemassage.com/

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I really debated whether or not to ever discuss things like this on this particular blog.  As long as I can do so in an honest and ethical fashion, my intention has always been that one of the byproducts of this blog would be that local businesses might be patronized.  I’m no shill for any commercial interest, but healthy local businesses mean a healthy community.

But I think I’ve had enough and can no longer tolerate take the lousy service at one local business.  I have been a premiere member (sounds fancy, I know) of Bally Total Fitness since 1994.  I’m not one of those guys that just pays for his membership and never shows his face.  I use the facility.  My wife and mother are both members, too.  I love Bally for the price and location.  Everything else leaves a bit to be desired.

First and foremost, customer service there can be awful.  In the last few years, I’ve asked dozens of times for the music to be turned down.  I understand that supposedly loud music “motivates” people to work out harder, but sometimes that music is so loud that  I have to yell for the person 5 feet away from me to hear me.  That was the case this morning.  I was practically screaming to be heard by one of the other regulars, who agreed that the music was too loud, and I once again had to be the bad guy and ask the front desk to turn it down.  My request was ignored.  I was told that it had already been turned down when the desk help came in this morning.  I want to hear my music and the people that I’m talking to and I’m tired of requesting this and being treated like I’m a fool for asking.

I just spoke to the manager on the phone about it and was told the volumes are kept at “acceptable levels. ”  That was the response I expected.

Second, I’m sick of the rank amateurishness amongst the management and/or staff.  While recently it has been better, in the past it was not uncommon to have the person in charge of opening the location in the morning arrive late.  It was also not uncommon for some of those morning employees to be pissy, whiny and unfriendly.  Again, that has been better in the recent past.  It should never happen and it took plenty of time to correct it while it was occurring.

Theft, disarray, weird behavior in the locker room shower areas, poor  condition of the equipment are all things that I have experienced or seen.  Obviously theft and weird behavior are not caused by Ballys.  But a gym, like any other service, should provide the best atmosphere possible.  It’s getting to a point that I’m strongly considering not renewing my membership.

If you are thinking of joining a local gym, I would suggest you take these things into consideration before joining Bally Total Fitness.

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Back when I was in grad school, my close friend, Joe, introduced me to the Plymouth Coffee Bean Co., or “the Bean,” on Penniman.  Before there were coffee shops on every street corner, the Bean was one of the few places around that sold anything better than gas station coffee.  Just as inviting as the good coffee was the one-of-a-kind atmosphere.  The Bean’s like having a coffee shop right next to your own living room.  I spent hundreds of hours there studying or working on files.  I also made a number of friends there and the Bean became a central place to meet friends either to hang out or move on to another event.

Now that I am a Plymouth resident, it’s the place where I daily get my morning coffee or bag of ground beans to take to work.  The coffee sold at the Bean is delicious, with lots of varieties served.  While the big chains keep jacking up the price of their fancy-named cups of joe, the Bean is a bargain.  If you bring in your own cup, you can fill ‘er up for 85¢.  How can you beat that?

Plymouth has seen coffee houses come and go over the years.  The old Studio Café, a place that never had good coffee – the loft was nice, though – is now Zapata’s, a fast-food style Mexican restaurant.  Some other specialty stores serve coffee but you would probably not visit those places just for the coffee itself.  It only compliments their delicious foods and desserts.

When Starbucks and Panera Bread both opened several years back, some of us Bean lovers worried that it might fold.  Both of those places get their fair share of coffee buyers, but neither makes better coffee than the Bean and neither hold a candle to the Bean as far as atmosphere.  If you want to see works of art by local artists or hear local musicians perform, you’ll find those things only at the Bean.  By contrast, the only word I can think to describe Starbucks’ atmosphre is “contrived.”  The company has tried too hard to convince us that a cold, sterile (concrete and plastic) place is actually warm and inviting.  There is no reason to be in there except to buy coffee…and leave promptly.

If you live here in Plymouth, or are just in town for a visit, drop by the Bean.  It’s at Penniman and Harvey, downtown.  Take a look around, grab a nice cup of coffee, sit back and relax.

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